David Harris

David Harris
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I have been interested in film ever since my parents took me to see E.T. as a child. I began writing professional film criticism for Tiny Mix Tapes in 2007, where I was the film editor. I began Spectrum Culture, where I am Editor-in-Chief, 10 years ago and have been writing criticism there ever since. I also teach a film studies course at Northwest Academy, an independent school located in downtown Portland.
Publications: Spectrum Culture

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
94% Brute Force (1947) Brute Force may be light on nuance but if it can still shock 75 years later, imagine just how audiences reacted when it was released. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2021
2.5/5 78% The Unthinkable (Den blomstertid nu kommer) (2021) Shows a lot of promise, but by the time the film draws to its overwrought and melodramatic ending, it's hard to really care. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
No Score Yet Trances (1981) Morocco has been most famously portrayed on film in Casablanca and used as an exotic locale to serve epics such as Lawrence of Arabia, but El Maânouni gives us a glimpse of the country and its denizens in Trances. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2021
85% The Naked City (1948) Naked City may be a ho-hum crime picture but it allows New York the chance to play itself, giving us - future viewers - a glorious time capsule from the past. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2021
100% Toni (1934) Though Toni doesn't scale the heights of Renoir's best, it is an interesting, and refreshing curio, a full-blooded melodrama of a director getting fresh air and breaking free. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
98% Shiva Baby (2021) For the approximation of a panic attack, though one punctuated with sharply witty moments, Shiva Baby is a nail-chewing comedy of manners. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
45% The Comfort of Strangers (1991) The Comfort of Strangers is a head scratching misuse of so much talent, yet it's difficult to place blame squarely on one party. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2021
84/100 94% Nomadland (2021) In her third feature film, Chloé Zhao's Nomadland presents an America many of us don't want to see, but it's one that we should recognize with wide-open eyes. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
87% A History of Violence (2005) With A History of Violence, Cronenberg dares us to examine why we enjoy blood and gore so much. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
85/100 98% Minari (2020) Minari is a successful and tender look at a young family. A story we've seen on the screen so many teams before but via a palette that has long excluded people of color. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
100% Town Bloody Hall (2001) Town Bloody Hall is a fascinating document of a time and place where such ideas could be debated in front of an audience in a wild and free-wheeling way, in a forum where everyone's outlandish ideas could be heard, no matter how incendiary... - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
94% The Great Escape (1963) There is something undeniably quaint about John Sturges' sprawling 1963 World War II epic... - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
97% Come and See (Idi i smotri) (1985) They say war is hell, but very few films make that saying true like Come and See. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2021
92% The Fly (1986) Even stranger avenues would come, but The Fly would move Cronenberg to the A-list and even 35 years later, it still retains the power to shock. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2021
2/5 88% News of the World (2020) Good intentions aside, we can be pretty sure Greengrass never set out to make something as boring as News of the World. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
80/100 92% Another Round (Druk) (2020) Mikkelsen, who also worked with Vinterberg in The Hunt, is the director's secret weapon. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
96% Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020) Crock of Gold feels frenetic, much like the music of the Pogues and at first, it's quite dizzying and difficult to penetrate. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2020
70% The Prince of Tides (1991) The Prince of Tides remains important as the wellspring of a woman director/star who held her ground against the boys club of the Hollywood system and ultimately came out on top. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
90% The Climb (2020) With friends like these, who needs enemies? - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2020
98% Paris Is Burning (1991) Paris is Burning is still an important film 30 years after its release - a snapshot of a specific time and place that humanizes its subjects and allows those of us in a place of privilege to understand them better. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2020
100% Antonio Gaudí (1986) Antonio Gaudí feels like both a meditation and a silent conversation between two master artists. Teshigahara uses his camera as paean to this work that exists sui generis in its style. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
97% Shithouse (2020) Despite its crappy title, Shithouse is alternatingly charming and frustrating. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2020
70/100 86% On The Rocks (2020) On the Rocks is charming and features great performances by Murray and Jones, but it feels little more than confection. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2020
90% Kajillionaire (2020) Though Kajillionaire is well-made and definitely feels part of the artist's body of work, Miranda July's penchant for twee strangeness often overpowers the sadly sweet narrative. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
92% Alone (2020) Alone may not bring anything new to the table, but it is an effective entry into the canon of similar films. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2020
95% Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President (2020) Framed around Carter's love for the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, Wharton's documentary explores the genesis of the young Georgian from farmer to politician, tracing his rise from governor to president. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
85% Old Joy (2006) More than just an investigation of a friendship past its expiration date, Old Joy is a quiet study of masculinity. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2020
92% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) A dizzying ride drawn from a source that many modern readers would eschew as too stodgy. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2020
87% Get Duked! (2020) Get Duked! almost crosses that "so bad it's good" line, but doesn't quite get there. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) The bulk of Cold War, Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski's 2018 Academy Award-nominated film, exists in the quiet peripheries. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2020
97% Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death) (1947) Though some of A Matter of Life and Death has not aged well, it still stands with It's a Wonderful Life as ambitious for the 1940s. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2020
84% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Even if the story gets a bit too meta for younger audiences to truly grasp, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will still thrill them with its non-stop action. And best of all, it will make your kids beg you to buy them Legos when the lights come up. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2020
100% Nayak (1974) Taking place mainly on a train journey from Kolkata to Delhi, The Hero - like many of Ray's films - is an elegant contemplation on the human condition and the myriad of emotions it entails. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2020
97% Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932) While it doesn't have the emotional punch of some of his masterworks, it shows a master dabbling in a genre that was outside his comfort zone. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
2/5 89% The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) (2010) Just like Sweden's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the makers of this film seem to confuse high art and police procedural. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
68% Che: Part One (The Argentine) (2009) Like the revolutionary himself, Che is an unrelenting, uncompromising struggle against the norm, a refreshing break from the standards of cinema itself. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
97% The Bad News Bears (1976) Rather than put people from all races in a pressure cooker and supply them with crap dialogue intended to tread on liberal, white guilt, The Bad News Bears flips a refreshing bird to propriety. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
100% Before Sunrise (1995) There are so many perfect moments in this film; it is hard to list them without excluding others. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
3.5/5 84% North Face (Nordwand) (2010) The most effective climbing thriller since Touching the Void. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
3.5/5 96% Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009) If anything, there is much to learn from The Most Dangerous Man in America that is still applicable today, or at least until our country ceases beginning conflicts on false pretense. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
2/5 85% The House of the Devil (2009) The grainy cinematography, slow pace and rhythm make The House of the Devil feel as if it came out with those old Wes Craven and Dario Argento cheapies. Unfortunately, homage isn't enough to add anything original to the proceedings. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
3/5 82% That Evening Sun (2009) Holbrook's steely performance makes the film worth seeing. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
4/5 89% Zombieland (2009) Zombieland somehow manages to be refreshing, exciting, gory and funny. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
1.5/5 52% Explicit Ills (2009) There is nothing worse than heavy-handedness when it comes to a political film and Explicit Ills, produced by Jim Jarmusch, is ham-fisted in its own subtle way. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
No Score Yet Smashing Pumpkins: If All Goes Wrong (2008) If you allow yourself to recognize the humor in Corgan's endless wallowing, the DVD is actually pretty funny. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
2.5/5 74% Splinter (2008) It may find itself a cult following, but in a genre full of similar movies, it is more likely that Splinter will be assimilated just like its victims, and forgotten. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
3.2/5 93% Yes, God, Yes (2020) This is not a raunchy sex romp a la American Pie but a sweet comedy about a confused girl battling against the hypocrisy rife in her upbringing. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
94% Matewan: A Luta Final (1987) Matewan remains relevant as corporations and captains of industry continue to exploit workers and drum up fear about unions. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2020
2/5 92% Relic (2020) Relic suffers from a crisis of identity, just like the story it sidesteps instead of fully embracing. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2020
3/5 94% John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020) Though director Dawn Porter's film flirts with hagiography, we do see a politician who remains determined to serve his people through clear-eyed legislation. - Spectrum Culture EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020